EA announces new development studio headed by Zampella, West

Monday, 12 April 2010 14:11 GMT By Johnny Cullen

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EA’s just announced the formation of a brand new studio headed by ex-Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West called Respawn Entertainment.

It comes as the pair were fired from the Modern Warfare developer last month by publisher Activision.

The new studio will have full control of whatever IPs it develops, while EA will handle worldwide publishing and distribution rights to whatever it creates via EA Partners.

“For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise,” said Zampella. “. We’re very proud of what we built – and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again — open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA.”

“Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve,” added West.

“Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games,” said Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games.

It comes as West and Zampella are knee-deep in a lawsuit with Activision, which the firm’s countered as of last week. The publisher stated previously the pair were looking to move from Acti to another publisher, including EA.

PR below.

Jason West and Vince Zampella Form ‘Respawn Entertainment’

All-New Independent Development Studio Signs Exclusive Worldwide Publishing Agreement with EA

LOS ANGELES, Apr 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Jason West and Vince Zampella, creators of the multi-billion dollar Call of Duty(R) franchise, announced the formation of a new development studio — Respawn Entertainment. The move positions the Respawn Entertainment leadership team as the owners of the intellectual property they create. The company will focus on creating state-of-the-art gaming experiences for global audiences. The studio is currently assembling a world-class team of designers, artists and engineers. Applicants can submit resumes to jobs@respawn.com.

Respawn is pleased to also announce that it has awarded Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), through the distinguished EA Partners program, exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to future games. Terms were not disclosed. West and Zampella are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

“Respawn Entertainment marks a fresh start for Jason and me,” said Vince Zampella, General Manager of Respawn Entertainment. “For the past decade we led a great development team and poured our hearts into creating an epic game franchise. We’re very proud of what we built – and proud that so many millions of fans enjoyed those games. Today we hope to do it all over again — open a new studio, hire a great team, and create brand new games with a new partner, EA.”

“We’re excited,” added Jason West, President of Respawn Entertainment. “Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve.”

Frank Gibeau, President of the EA Games Label commented, “This is the start of a great publishing partnership – one that I expect will develop blockbuster game franchises. Jason and Vince are two of the top creative leaders in the entertainment industry. At EA, we’re honored to be their partners and to give them the support they need to hire a team and return to making incredible games.”

About Respawn Entertainment

Founded in 2010, Respawn Entertainment is an independent videogame development studio based in Encino, California. The studio was formed by Jason West and Vince Zampella, former co-founders of Infinity Ward and creators of the multi-billion dollar franchise Call of Duty(R). More information about the company will be available soon at www.respawn.com.

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